The Local Government Chronicle awards have shortlisted Merton Council in four categories for its work around dementia, hoarding and preventing homelessness.
Merton’s Dementia Hub has been shortlisted in two categories, Commissioning Pioneer and Business Transformation. The first of its kind in London and one of the first in the UK, Merton has commissioned the Alzheimer’s Society to manage the hub as neither a care home nor a respite/day centre, but a unique community based service for people with dementia, their family and carers, at any stage in their journey, providing access to different health and social care professionals all under one roof.
Merton’s Hoarding Protocol is also the first of its kind in the country and has been shortlisted in the Innovation category, which Merton also won last year for its Merton Managed Accounts, a pre-paid card service which gives adult social care service users more control over their personal budgets. Developed in collaboration with local partners including Circle Housing Merton Priory, the hoarding protocol is unique in that it looks at practical actions to work with people who hoard, by assessing their needs and finding solutions through a multi-agency approach. Since its introduction in 2013, 25 customers have been supported, meaning they can now enjoy a better quality of life in their own home, as well as reducing the cost to the public purse.
Merton’s work around preventing homelessness has also been shortlisted in the Business Transformation category. With 220 private sector households affected by the benefit cap, a sustainable solution to stop people becoming homeless needed to be found. With no access to housing support services and the threat of possible eviction, many were alone and unsure what to do. With an excellent track record as the London borough with the lowest number of people in temporary accommodation, Merton teamed up with the DWP to develop a unique, proactive and holistic approach to support these households, resulting in over £1million savings.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “I am immensely proud that Merton has been shortlisted in these well regarded national local government awards. This is the first time Merton has been shortlisted four times in one awards ceremony, an achievement that reflects the business-like approach we have taken in running our services. Despite the very serious financial challenges facing the council, we have continued to serve and support those who are most vulnerable in our community ensuring they have a better quality of life, and in some cases, in a way that very few local authorities in the country have been able to do.”
The awards ceremony will take place on 11 March.
Merton’s award sponsors passed on their congratulations:
Mike Bullman from Unique Office Solutions, the company who partnered with Merton to design the FF&E package for the Merton Dementia Hub said: “The Merton Dementia Hub was an exciting, challenging and absorbing project to work on especially being the first of its kind. We are proud of our involvement in its development and wish Merton the very best of luck at the awards.”
Michael Bell, Managing Director of Corelogic said: “Many congratulations to Merton Council for their shortlisting success. We are proud of our association with the council and for our work in providing the software which supports their adult and children’s social care services. We wish them every success at the LGC awards in March.”
Merton’s additional award sponsors, St Georges Mental Health Trust, Royal Marsden and MSH Training Consultancy also passed on their congratulations.